Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, advises victims of petrol stretching to carefully study the terms and conditions of their motor insurance policy for possible protection against engine write-offs.
“I raised this matter in the Dáil yesterday (Tuesday) with Finance Michael Noonan, who is clearly aware of how fuel fraud is now presenting major challenges for the State, credible fuel providers and ordinary motorists. Revenue investigations into petrol stretching are ongoing and conclusive results have been received from the State Laboratory in one case which indicates the contamination of petrol through the presence of kerosene.
“Unfortunately, we are hearing more and more about the related horror stories from people whose care engines have been destroyed by petrol stretching. In that context, I asked Minister Noonan in the Dáil yesterday if insurance companies were providing protection for policy holders whose car engines have been written off due to this malpractice.
“Minister Noonan told me in the Dáil that he understood that some insurers are paying out on these claims. The Minister went on to say that insurers are investigating individual cases in relation to damage done to car engines because of petrol stretching. However, he said it was a matter of whether this financial loss is included or excluded under the terms and conditions of the individual contract so I would advise people to check whether engine write-offs are covered under their policy.
“As Minister Noonan also highlighted, any person who has an unresolved insurance complaint can refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman for investigation and adjudication at www. financialombudsman.ie or 1890 88 20 90. Accordingly, I would advise any victims of this criminal practice to explore all channels open to them.”